January 15, 2016
Do you still believe that cold-calling and buying lead lists are effective ways to drive sales?
If so, it’s time for a wake-up call. The harsh reality is cold-calling doesn’t work 90% of the time according to the Harvard Business Review, and buying leads is an expensive and ineffective strategy that only provides you with contact information for a bunch of people who don’t know you and likely don’t want to hear from you. In fact, according to recent research by Huthwait, 90% of B2B buyers never respond to an unsolicited inquiry and 88% will have nothing to do with cold-callers.
So if cold-calling and buying lead lists don’t work, what does? The answer is inbound marketing – a powerful strategy that involves attracting leads to your company online, rather than seeking them out. According to HubSpot, B2B companies that blog as part of an inbound marketing strategy generate 67% more leads per month than those who don’t. So if you’re still wondering where to find B2B sales leads, now you know – they’re looking for you and your competitors online, so make sure you’re able to be found. Here’s how to get B2B sales leads:
1. Understand what inbound marketing is – and what it’s not. Unlike cold-calling, buying lead lists, and other traditional marketing strategies, inbound marketing is not disruptive. Instead, it involves attracting qualified leads to your site by offering helpful and relevant content designed specifically for them. That way, when they perform an associated search, your content shows up in their results and they see that you’re an industry leader who has the answers, products, and services they need.
2. Create content to attract your ideal customers. Once you’ve decided to embrace inbound marketing, you’ll need to create content to attract qualified visitors. As a seasoned salesperson, you should already have plenty of data about your ideal customers – including their goals, challenges, pain points, and interests. But if you don’t, now is the time to gather that information. From there, create relevant and educational content that speaks to your audience. Target the keywords your audience is searching for online, optimize your content pages to appeal to your market, and share actively on social media. If you continue with this strategy over time, you’ll undoubtedly begin to see an influx of qualified prospects visiting your site.
3. Convert site visitors into qualified leads. Once prospects start visiting your site regularly, you’ll want to capture their contact information so you can follow-up. This is done by offering a piece of premium and extremely valuable content – like a very specific e-book, white paper, or video – and asking the visitor to fill out a form with their contact information in order to download it. From there, build an optimized and well-designed landing page where the offer will be fulfilled, and share it on social media and with calls-to-action buttons throughout your website. Make sure your audience knows this content exists and feels inspired to download it.
Related article: Common B2B Lead Generation Mistakes
4. Turn your leads into paying customers. Once you’ve got a steady stream of qualified leads, you’ll want to leverage email marketing, workflows, lead scoring, and CRM and marketing automation to turn them into buyers. To get started, organize your contacts in a CRM that allows you to track your interactions and engage with list segments. From there, send relevant, helpful, and automated emails to groups of contacts based on their interests, purchases, and the gated content they’ve accessed in the past. This builds trust and moves your prospect through the decision-making process, without a disruptive phone call.
5. Continuously inform, engage, and inspire your customers. Your inbound marketing efforts don’t stop once you close the sale. A big part of this strategy is continuing to delight your customers with personalized content, new product recommendations, emails tailored to their interests, and interactions on social media to ensure they remain satisfied with and impressed by your brand for the long-term. This provides you with opportunities to upsell your customers in the future, while also turning them into loyal advocates who are endlessly delighted with your company.
Why Cold-Calling Is A Waste Of Time (And What You Should Be Doing Instead), https://tweakyourbiz.com/marketing/2013/01/31/why-cold-calling-is-a-waste-of-time-and-what-you-should-be-doing-instead/
Stop Cold Calling, https://www.nomorecoldcalling.com/stop-cold-calling/
6 Stats You Should Know About Business Blogging in 2015, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/business-blogging-in-2015
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